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At least two dead, 12 injured after blast near Afghan foreign ministry

KABUL (Reuters) -At least two people were killed and 12 injured in a blast near Afghanistan’s ministry of foreign affairs on Monday, according to a hospital run by an Italian NGO in Kabul.

“We received some patients,” said Stefano Sozza of Italian NGO Emergency, which runs the surgical centre specialising in treating victims of war in downtown Kabul. A tweet from the NGO said at least one child was among the injured.

Sozza said the incident took place near the foreign ministry.

Two witnesses told Reuters they heard the sound of a large explosion near the heavily fortified area that is home to several government buildings and foreign embassies.

Spokespeople for police, the information ministry and the ministry of foreign affairs did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The cause of the blast was not immediately clear.

Kabul and other urban areas have been hit by several attacks in recent months, some of which have been claimed by Islamic State militants.

A blast in January killed at least five people and injured dozens at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as employees streamed out of the building at the end of the working day.

The Taliban administration has said it is focused on securing the country and that it has carried out several raids against suspected Islamic State members in recent weeks.

Monday’s incident took place around lunchtime, when the city is especially crowded as government office staff leave early for the day during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

(Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield and Mohammad Yunus Yawar; Editing by Bernadette Baum)


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